“The Narrowing-Down of the OEEC/OECD Migration Functions, 1947-1986,” with Simone Paoli.

“The Narrowing-Down of the OEEC/OECD Migration Functions, 1947-1986,” with Simone Paoli.

The OECD and the International Political Economy since 1948. Edited by Matthieu Leimgruber and Matthias Schmelzer. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Our joint chapter with Simone Paoli “The Narrowing-Down of the OEEC/OECD Migration Functions, 1947-1986,” is now out in The OECD and the International Political Economy since 1948, edited by Matthieu Leimgruber and Matthias Schmelzer (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 261-84).   This chapter explains how Western European states determined the migration functions of the organisation. In the early Cold War, the United States attempted to use the OEEC to open the migration regime in Western Europe. However the OEEC included too many poor emigration countries to develop an open migration regime. Given immigration states’ reluctance to larger projects, the organisation served mainly as a forum of weak coordination of immigration practices. The shift from liberal to restrictive migration policies in the late 1960s and early 1970s appeared to open a window of opportunity for the OECD. Emigration countries, supported by the OECD Secretariat, tried to develop cooperation so as to redistribute the costs of those policies. However, disagreements within its heterogeneous membership and competition from other international organisations undermined the OECD’s position. The organisation found itself in the mid-1980s assuming migration functions only at the level of information.